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NEWS BRIEFS: Kugluktuk voters choose to remove alcohol restrictions


Existing limitations on alcohol in Kugluktuk will soon be gone.

Those in favour of eliminating the community's alcohol education committee and restrictions on liquor had just enough of a majority to be successful, at 60.8 per cent in the Oct. 22 plebiscite.

A 60 per cent majority was required for the proposal to pass.

Those in favour of lifting restrictions numbered 281 while 181 were opposed.

Voter turnout was 67.7 per cent, according to Elections Nunavut, which oversaw the voting process.

The question on the ballot read: "Are you in favour of ending the current system of liquor restriction in Kugluktuk and having an unrestricted system where only the general liquor laws of Nunavut apply?"

Kugluktuk's Alcohol Education Committee will continue to function until Cabinet approves regulatory changes, at which time the committee will be dissolved. In the legislative assembly on Oct. 23, Finance Minister George Hickes said he couldn't give an exact date when the change would be made, but added that the plebiscite outcome will become a priority for his department.

Existing maximums through the alcohol education committee, per order, are two 60-ounce bottles and two 40-ounce bottles of spirits, 48 cans of beer and four litres of wine. Those orders can be placed every second week, if approved by the committee.

In the future, there will be no limitations on alcohol orders within the territory. However, liquor ordered from the south is still subject to an import permit. Kugluktuk residents travelling back to their community from the south are allowed to bring up to three litres of spirits or nine litres of wine or 26 litres of beer without a permit.

– Derek Neary


New integrity commissioner


Katherine Peterson was named Nunavut's new integrity commissioner on Oct. 23.

She replaces Ted Richard, who served for five years.

Peterson, a lawyer with four decades of experience, was chosen through an application process overseen by the legislative assembly's Management and Services Board.

The integrity commissioner provides advice to MLAs to help them avoid misconduct or conflicts under Nunavut's Integrity Act. The commissioner also investigates complaints related to that act.

– Derek Neary


Arctic College and Memorial University team up


Of 11 universities vying for a 10-year deal, Memorial University is a selection committee's unanimous choice to partner with Nunavut Arctic College. Memorial University is the university for Newfoundland and Labrador, located in St. John's.

"Memorial University is the clear choice as our partner due to its history of engagement with communities, its commitment to learner excellence, and its international reputation for research. We look forward to continuing to build capacity as an institution," stated David Joanasie, minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College. "Throughout this process, the need to deliver the highest quality programs and services for Nunavummiut reflecting Inuit culture, values and language was on the forefront of the selection committee's minds."

The selection committee was made up of officials from the Department of Education, Nunavut Arctic College and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

The next step is a hammering out a 10-year partnership agreement.

"The last year has been transformative for Nunavut Arctic College. We have launched a new website; established a curriculum framework which embedded Inuktut Language and Culture, Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or 'ICE-STEM' within the college; undertaken a review of community learning centres, and began the design of a new campus in Cambridge Bay, to name a few new major initiatives," stated college president Sheila Kolola.

"Nunavut is one of the largest post-secondary service regions in the world and a major centre for research. Partnering with Memorial University will only benefit our learners now and in the future."

Moving forward, the college will work with Memorial University to expand institutional operational capacity, revitalize existing programs, as well as build new programs and services to support learners across Nunavut, according to the news release.

"Memorial began as a college in 1925, raised by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to meet their aspirations for higher education. Since then we have been building strong programs in teaching and learning, research and public engagement, with special interest and experience in the North, including Labrador and Nunavut. We look forward to collaborating with the college and the Government of Nunavut to help achieve their post-secondary education aspirations," the university stated.

– Michele LeTourneau